NATIONAL HUNT CHASE

The National Hunt Chase (Challenge Cup) is a novices' chase for amateur riders only and dates back to 1860.

Run permanently at Cheltenham since 1911, it was the race around which the Festival was created and developed.

Grade 2 | 5yo+ novices | Tuesday 17.30
3 miles 6 furlongs | 23 fences | Old Course
Weight: 11st 2lb (5yo) / 11st 6lb (6yo+) | Allowance: 7lb for mares
Prize money (2022): £125,000 | 1st: £60,388

In fact, it wasn't until 1947 that prize money for the Champion Hurdle and Cheltenham Gold Cup exceeded that of this historic race.

It has produced future Grand National winners including Tiger Roll and Gold Cup winners, like Native River (2nd in 2016). 

For safety reasons, the original 4-mile trip was reduced by 2 furlongs in 2020, after only 4 of the 18 starters finished in 2019.

Thus, the number of fences in the National Hunt Chase also decreased, from 25 to 23.

In 2022 the race was renamed the Ukraine Appeal National Hunt Chase in support of the Red Cross campaign.

Gordon Elliott has trained 4 winners from 10 runners
 10 of the last 18 winners were aged 7
6 of the last 12 winners were rated 150+
0 of the last 9 favourites won
Updated to include 2022 renewal

Stamina is obviously still a key prerequisite, but experience counts too, with a large field almost guaranteed to face the starter.

The standard has undoubtedly increased in recent years, with the first and second placed horses in both 2021 and 2022 rated 150+.

You have to go back to the 2011, 2012 and 2013 renewals to find the last favourites to win, while the last outright favourite to oblige before them was Keep Talking in 1992.

LAST 5 WINNERS’ DATA

YEAR
AGE
OFFICIAL RATING
WEIGHT
2022
7
153
11-6
2021
7
152
11-6
2020
10
142
11-6
2019
7
145
11-6
2018
10
150
11-6

RECENT WINNERS

YEAR
WINNER
JOCKEY / TRAINER
SP
2022
Stattler
Patrick Mullins / W P Mullins
2/1
2021
Galvin
Jack Kennedy / Ian Ferguson
7/2
2020
Ravenhill
Jamie Codd / Gordon Elliott
12/1
2019
Le Breuil
Jamie Codd / Ben Pauling
14/1
2018
Rathvinden
Patrick Mullins / W P Mullins
9/2
2017
Tiger Roll
Lisa O'Neill / Gordon Elliott
16/1
2016
Minella Rocco
Derek O'Connor / Jonjo O'Neill
8/1
2015
Cause of Causes
Jamie Codd / Gordon Elliott
8/1
2014
Midnight Prayer
Joshua Newman / Alan King
8/1
2013
Back in Focus
Patrick Mullins / W P Mullins
9/4f
2012
Teaforthree
JT McNamara / Rebecca Curtis
5/1f
2011
Chicago Grey
Derek O'Connor / Gordon Elliott
5/1f
2010
Poker de Sivola
Katie Walsh / Ferdy Murphy
14/1
2009
Tricky Trickster
Sam Waley-Cohen / Nigel Twiston-Davies
11/1
2008
Old Benny
Charlie Huxley / Alan King
9/1
2007
Butler's Cabin
Alan Berry / Jonjo O'Neill
33/1
2006
Hot Weld
Richard Harding / Ferdy Murphy
33/1
2005
Another Rum
Mark O'Hare / Ian Duncan
40/1
2004
Native Emperor
Robert Widger / Jonjo O'Neill
5/1jf
2003
Sudden Shock
Denis Cullen / Jonjo O'Neill
25/1
2002
Rith Dubh
JT McNamara / Jonjo O'Neill
10/1
2001

Festival Cancelled

2000
Relaxation
Mark Bradburne / Henry Daly
8/1

Patrick Mullins secured his third success in this amateur riders' contest in 2022, with Stattler producing a flying leap at the last and sauntering clear of an unusually small field.

It was also a third winner of the National Hunt Chase for owner Ronnie Bartlett - following Rathvinden (2018) and Galvin (2021).

Bartlett is chairman of the sponsor of Friday’s Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle.

‘WILLIE TOLD ME WE WERE GOING TO THIS RACE, SEND THE HORSE TO THE TRAINER AND THEY TELL YOU WHERE IT’S GOING. KEEP IT SIMPLE’

Professional jockeys competed in 2021 due to Covid restrictions and Galvin was ridden by Jack Kennedy, who joked:

‘IT’S A SHAME AMATEURS WERE UNABLE TO RIDE - BUT I’D HAVE ONE LESS FESTIVAL WINNER IF THEY COULD, SO I’LL TAKE IT’

Jamie Codd won the National Hunt Chase for a third time in 2020, aboard Ravenhill:

‘IT’S THE OLYMPICS OF OUR SPORT - IF YOU DON’T ENJOY RIDING WINNERS AROUND HERE THEN THERE’S SOMETHING WRONG WITH YOU’

Jamie Codd also won an attritional renewal aboard Le Breuil in 2019, a second Festival winner for trainer Ben Pauling:

Rathvinden won an engrossing duel with the mare Ms Parfois in 2018: